Labour have broken their key health election pledge, which was to: get waiting lists down and to keep them down (May 1997).
Figures sneaked out by the Labour government this week show that waiting lists are higher now than when Labour were elected in 1997. And in the Greater Glasgow health board area, waiting lists have increased by over 9 per cent in the past year, to 13,684. That is a disgrace.
Labours by-election candidates in Anniesland are trying to dodge the issues and hide from the voters. They are clearly incapable of defending Labours record in Glasgow - and no wonder when they have broken their central manifesto pledge on health.
The people of Anniesland need a fresh start - they need an MSP and MP who will put Glasgows needs first, and fight for Scotlands abundant resources to be invested in curing our nations health inequalities. Thats what only the SNP stand for in these by-elections.
Shadow Health Minister Ms Nicola Sturgeon MSP added:
A Bristol University study this year showed that Glasgow Anniesland is the fifth unhealthiest constituency in the entire UK - and the other bottom seats were all in Glasgow.
Poverty and ill-health are major problems bedevilling Glasgow - and Labours policy programme tailored for Middle England is actually making matters worse in Scotland.
The increase in waiting lists is just the latest symptom of Labours failure. A vote for a Labour MSP and MP would be a vote for more Labour failure.
The only way to put the strongest possible focus on solving the health problems of Glasgow and Scotland is for the people of Anniesland to vote SNP next Thursday.
The SNPs Scottish Parliament candidate Mr Tom Chalmers said:
A report by the Scottish Council Foundation in 1998 found that Scottish health was the worst in Western Europe, ranking alongside the former East Germany. And this years update found that the rate of improvement is much slower than it should be, and slower than in the rest of the UK. To quote the report: The result is that health inequalities are growing.
Growing health inequality in the last two years is a damning indictment of the New Labour government.
A London-led government in Scotland, and a parliament with its purse-strings controlled by London, cannot make the fundamental difference to our health record that is needed. Thats why the SNP and Independence are vital to ending Scotlands record as the sick man of Europe.
SNP Westminster candidate Mr Grant Thoms said:
The Labour candidates in Anniesland would rather put bombs before beds. They would rather waste billions on dumping the obscenity of Trident nuclear weapons on the river Clyde than invest in the health of Glasgows people.
This weeks report by Chantrey Vellacott showed that Scotland is sending a surplus of at least 2 billion pounds this year to the London Treasury.
Instead of subsidising London to waste our resources, Scotland needs the powers of an independent Parliament, so that we can turn our health record round and make a real difference in Glasgow.